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SPFT Teachers, Educational Assistants and School and Community Service Professionals Mediation Update: Day 6

Feb. 6, 2018

Melvin Carter, Saint Paul’s mayor, met with negotiations teams for the District and the Union this morning. He offered words of encouragement and confidence that both teams will reach an agreement in the days ahead.

Today marked the sixth mediation session between Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) and the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT). The District and the Union discussed multiple proposals and counter-proposals related to:

  • English learners
  • Cost neutral proposals
  • Elementary specialist
  • Restorative practices

Restorative Practices (RP)
The SPPS negotiations team presented a Memorandum of Agreement that provides an integrated approach to social emotional learning (SEL). The SEL strategy fully incorporates the power of Restorative Practices (RP) and aligns with other district practices. SPPS also reaffirmed its commitment to expand the RP program to three additional schools next school year. This will result in a total of 12 sites at a cost of $1.8 million. The team also conveyed its firm commitment to funding a Restorative Practices coordinator and finding ways to secure funds for a RP coach.

Class Size
Early Monday afternoon, the SPPS negotiations team submitted a counter-proposal related to class size and a revised Statement of Intent to collaborate with the Union on seeking additional support from corporations. For the second day in a row, SPFT has not responded to either of these topics.

Tentative Agreements Reached:
Mediation progress took place between SPPS and bargaining groups for educational assistants (EA) and school and community service professionals (SCSP). The following tentative agreements were reached:

EA

  • Probation period
  • Seniority
  • Work day
  • School-related injuries
  • Sick leave donations
  • Sick leave
  • General contract housekeeping

SCSP

  • Facilities safety and access
  • Probation period

Mediation is scheduled to continue with all SPFT bargaining groups through the rest of the week. The District is committed to continuing the mediation sessions through the weekend in an effort to avoid a strike.

However, SPPS continues to make preparations for a potential strike. The District is exploring various strike scenarios in an effort to minimize impact to families.

The Saint Paul Public Schools Board of Education has scheduled closed meetings in the matter of labor negotiations for Wednesday, Feb. 7, Thursday, Feb. 8 and Friday, Feb. 9. The meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m. each night at the SPPS Administration Building, 360 Colborne St. in St. Paul.